What did Glenn do on his spring vacation?


Inscription from Earl Hall on the campus of Columbia University...

Erected for the students


That religion and learning


May go hand in hand and


Character grow with knowledge


 

GLENN: But I think I should start with my trip to a few universities on my vacation, what I did on my spring vacation. I took my daughter to a few universities. Oh, it was fun. It was fantastic. I wore a mustachio so no one could recognize me. I promised my daughter as we drove to our first stop, Columbia University, here in beautiful Midtown Manhattan. Actually it's no longer in Midtown Manhattan, it's in uptown. It's in Harlem. And who doesn't want to let your college Freshman live right in the heart of Harlem.

So we're driving and I said to my daughter as we were driving past the sex shops there at NYU where she also wanted to look and I said, yeah, I think I'm going to say a big fat no on writing a check for NYU, and I'm really not quite sure I'm willing to write it for Columbia, either. And she said, "Dad." And I said, "I'll be quiet. I'll just, you won't hear a peep out of me. I will make this your day." So I'm not kidding you. I wore a hat and glasses. I mean, I'm inside with sunglasses and I kept my head down.

But here's how it went. First we went inside what's called the Low Memorial Library and the first thing that I noticed on the Low Memorial Library as we went in was the inscription on the -- over the giant doors. It was really, it was really quite interesting to see the inscription because the inscription said, "For the advancement of the public good and the glory of almighty God." And I thought, wow, Columbia University dedicated for the advancement of the public good and the glory of almighty God. We must be talking about God in here. This is going to be fantastic. Not so much, not so much. They didn't really mention God. They did tell me that they are very -- I just want to get the note exactly -- that they're very open-minded and they have an awful lot of different kinds of speakers. Diversity of thought is very important at Columbia University, and I behind my glasses, my hat and my mustachio said, "Oh, really?" I also used a fake accent. "Really, diversity of thought, huh?" They said, absolutely. You know, you probably read that we had Hugo Chavez here. I said, oh, really? Hugo Chavez? Yeah, they had Hugo Chavez but they also wanted out that they had the leader of Iran. You might have seen that on the news. They had the leader of Iran. But they also had the Clintons and the Dalai Lama. There's your diversity of thought. And so I'm read I now. Ooh, I didn't know we had that kind of diversity here, that's great. So you had Chavez and Bill Clinton. Oh, well, I thought there was going to be indoctrination happening here.

So we sit in and we listen, and the great thing is about this was the first thing right out, right out of the chute was, "Welcome to Columbia University; we're very proud of our university. It's going to be a great experience for you should you decide to come here. It's going to be really, really great, but we are very, very -- we find it to be critical to education to serve and that's why we have all of these service projects and these service clubs that you can join." They went on for 20 minutes about service. And I'm like, maybe they're thinking this is the, you know, glory to almighty God. Maybe that's, maybe they're going to say, you know, it's like what you get in church (echoing). And then they also talked about how great the restaurants were all around Columbia University and the students will be able to find great diversity of food as well. And then they had the Chavez thing. And then they said, let's go on a tour. And so we said, oh, well, this is great. I'm ready to write a check for $50,000 a year right now. Could I write it right now? And so we go out on this tour, and Columbia University is known for a -- it is an engineering school. A lot of engineers go there. You remember the Manhattan Project, called Manhattan Project because of Columbia University. That's where it happened. Physics and engineers galore. It's fantastic. So they know a little bit about building something. In fact, as they pointed out, the Columbia University used to be in downtown down by Wall Street but then the Revolutionary War happened. So they moved it here to Rockefeller Plaza. And then they wanted to build Rockefeller Plaza. So Rockefeller moved them uptown. And this gentleman, who is an engineer in part of the engineering school, was pointing out all of the great things about Columbia University. For instance, when it moved there, what was originally on this piece of land here now in Harlem used to be a -- and he said it with a straight face -- used to be a mental institution, but then they moved Columbia University and surprisingly enough there's only one building left from the old mental institution and it's right next to the library. And he says, it's right here. This used to be actually part of the mental institution. And I thought to myself, hmmm, funny, still is. And I started to kind of laugh a little bit and my daughter just gave me a glare and so I, behind my mustachio, I held it. And so he said, that's still part of the -- you know, that's the old building for the mental institution there. And he says, do you have any idea what it's used for now?

Stu, the man saw no irony, none. The Columbia University's built on the grounds of a former mental institution and that there's only one building left from the mental institution. What do you think that building is used for today?

STU: I'm not sure, Glenn.

GLENN: It currently houses the French club. I'm not kidding you. So we're standing there and he says, of course, this is the library that you were just in but did anybody notice thinking that was in the library. And somebody raised their hand and said, yeah, there weren't any books there. And he said, yes, that's right, because -- this is the engineer telling me this -- because the engineers, when they were building it, didn't take into account the weight of the books and when they started loading the shelves of the books in the library, they realized the structure couldn't stand with the weight of the books. Again, no sense of irony was noticed by him. No sense of, that's probably not a story you want to share with other people. There was nobody that was at this school that said, you know this is a library; you did take into account the weight of the books? So they had to build another book.

So we continue on the tour and I found it ironic that there on the side of this library that the library is in the center and then right directly, if you are facing the library, right directly to the right of the library is a chapel. Didn't look like it got a lot of use, but there was a chapel there on the right. Just on the left was another chapel-like building and then the library that could hold the books was down at the foot and then the school of economics was at the head. But I thought it was interesting that the campus was designed a lot like a cross. Gee. That must have been a coincidence. No. No, it wasn't. It was fashioned after a Greek cross, kind of a traditional thing, trying to make sure everybody remembers what you should be doing there and the glory to almighty God which, again, was carved above the library. But there was something else that was carved yet over another door that I found very, very interesting. This one was on the Earl Hall Center. This was just to the other side of the library, and this center said, erected for the students that religion and learning may go hand in hand and character grow with knowledge. Found that really interesting. I thought maybe they should put a light over the door that reminded them that religion and learning should go hand in hand.

But then to the new library, the one with actual books. This is where blood started to shoot out of my eyes. There over the library where they actually have books are all the classic thinkers, Socrates, Plato, et cetera, all across. Then just underneath that, above the doors, in between the doors and the windows is another set of names. This other set of names was striking to me because they were these names: George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, John J, James Marshall, John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, Abraham Lincoln. What do these guys all have in common? In fact, there was one building that was named after John J. John J, one of the founders, one of the writers of the Federalist Papers. I found this incredible. Look at this. On the library. The importance of the American founders. The importance of the greatest thinkers. Not only do they take the classical writers up at the top but they take the guys who took the classics and said, you know what, this idea, this idea, this idea and this idea are great; look what we can make for society, the American experiment. It was a brilliant library. Maybe somebody should read not just the books inside the library but what the whole edifice says.

So I saw that and then I turned around because we had to go back to the library that doesn't hold any books and we went into that library and Hannah was filling out some paperwork and as she was filling out the paperwork, I noticed that they had a course curriculum. This was fantastic. This was -- this to me was a dream come true. The course curriculum. Because the course I was really interested in was Western civilization. I was really interested. What is it that they teach about modern civilization? Where do they start? Maybe they should start at the bottom of that library. Maybe you should read the classics and those people that took the classics and boiled them down to distill them.

There the any library that says is dedicated for the betterment of man and for the glory of almighty God, if you want to understand Western civilization, if you want to understand modern civilization, these are just a few of the books that were on the course curriculum. There was Nicci who, of course, says God is dead and then there was the book called Toward a Feminist Theory of State which was -- you know, that's -- I mean, if you want to understand how to -- it's a page-turner. I just, I loved it.

You know what I didn't find? A single founding father. You know what I didn't find? The Federalist Papers. I didn't find anything -- I found Malcolm X. I didn't find anything from our founding, nothing. Isn't that strange? Isn't that odd? No, no.

So we got into the car. Well, before we got into the car, I should tell you that I received my badge of honor. I believe, and I told my daughter this, that I believe that the day ended exactly as it should because before I got into the car, I received a ticket and so not only did I have the excitement of going to Columbia University and seeing how I can spend $50,000 a year to have my daughter, you know, her mind corrupted and, you know, have her maybe get, you know, a one-on-one with Hugo Chavez but I also got a ticket. And I laughed when I saw it and I said, this is great. And my daughter said, you got a ticket, Dad; how is it great? And I said, are you kidding me? How appropriate that the first and only time I've ever been on the Columbia campus, the police were involved.

I can't do it. I just don't know if I can do it. Stu, you saw indoctrination or -- no, not indoctrination. Expelled?

STU: Yeah, expelled, yeah, I saw it this weekend. It was very good. They did a good job of it. We should have Ben Stein on again. We need to get you a copy of it.

GLENN: I haven't seen a copy of it.

STU: Yeah, it was very interesting. It was nicely well done. Because you watch a lot of these quote/unquote conservative documentaries.

GLENN: They're pretty cheesy.

STU: But this one was well done. I definitely recommend seeing it. And it shows, you know, professor after professor after professor who is conservative and this one's focusing more on intelligent design. But it just gets, you know, in trouble with, has to take down websites that they made on their own time, have to get -- they lose their shot at tenure.

GLENN: I have to tell you I met -- because I went down to Princeton as well, which is a fantastic -- I mean, I was impressed with that. Columbia I wasn't impressed with. Princeton I was impressed with. But I met one of the main guys at the James Madison program. He's a professor, Robert George. This guy is brilliant, just brilliant. And he is a conservative tenured professor. And the stuff that he and about three other professors that I talked to told me about what's going on on university campuses all across the country, I have to tell you, should scare the living pants off of you if you have a daughter that's getting ready to go to college or is in college. The things -- college is no longer the same. It has changed. It has changed. Luckily there's people like Professor George that are actually trying to change it the other direction, that's just trying to look for balance.

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.